It’s 9:02 pm
One of the fun things I hear and see from other reviewers is when they get recommendations from the general public about which movie they should check out.
I actually get a lot of titles based on what other people are sharing among each other.
For example,I was once again at my local library doing a little hunting. I wasn’t expecting much because it was late in the afternoon on a Friday and the new stock had been put out on Tuesday. Still its fun to look,right? Well I’m glad I did because I found a copy of a film I had heard a LOT about and I had the title in my head in case I ran across it. So when I found this “The Blackcoat’s Daughter” sitting there,I was happy enough to pick it up.
But after 85 reviews here on my blog,no one has said “Hey,you and Paladin should really watch this movie and review it”. That is until now….my fanboy Jerome and I were at a store doing a little hunting when I saw “The Fifth Commandment” sitting on the shelf. The price was sweet but the cover on the DVD was pretty torn up and I was going to pass when Romey said “You should get that,it was pretty damn cool and I think the cheetah would be down with it as well”. I picked up the DVD,the front only had the title,the back wasn’t much better but I looked and saw the cast in it and I was sold based on Romey’s recommendation.
“The Fifth Commandment” opens with with “Z” (Roger Yuan) leading a crew of thugs into a store in Chinatown. He is there to collect money from a frightened store owner. The owner is there with wife and young son. Things are looking very grim until we see Max “Cool Breeze” Templeton (Keith David) walk into the store. He is there to kill Z and he doesn’t care about the shopkeeper or his family.
Z indeed ends up killing the shopkeeper and Max comes in right afterwards and kills Z’s crew. But in the crossfire the wife is killed and only a small boy remains. Z lights up two bundles of dynamite and leaves….at first Max is going to leave telling the boy “you’re going to see your family again in two minutes”. Instead Max has a change of heart and grabs the boy and bolts just in time.
As it turns out Max is a elite assassin named “The Jazzman” and he is very good at what he does. He decides to adopt the boy and names him “Chance” as in “second chance”. Max has a older boy named Miles already but mother had passed away. Miles and Chance grow with Miles whipping ass on some older boys who picking on Chance.
The boys are in Max’s music room looking his cool collection of jazz LPs when they stumble across pictures and papers of Max’s profession. Max is angry and tells Miles to leave the room. Max asks a then 12 year old Chance what does he think of the pictures and Max says “Cool”. Max tell him to get out as well…and soon begins to teach Chance the tools of the assassin’s trade. Miles looks on from the outside but says nothing.
The years pass and soon an adult Chance (Rick Yune) is shown training. Max says there two things he has to learn- how to shoot his first man and being shot for the first time.
When Chance says “What if I don’t get shot”?,Max proceeds to do just that…he puts a bullet in Chance’s right shoulder.
Soon Chance is working his own jobs,we see him take out a target and his crack security team while making a daring getaway.
After completing his latest job,Chance gets a offer to kill the pop singer Angel (Dania Ramirez) in Thailand. As he scans the paperwork and security detail,he see his brother Miles (Bokeem Woodbine) who Chance was told had died,is none other then Angel’s security. Chance declines the job for personal reasons and then storms to see Max.
Chance wants to know why Max lied to him,Max says he kept Miles away from Chance so he could learn his craft better.
But when Chance learns that a husband and wife assassin team named Collateral Damage has taken the job,he finds himself going to Thailand to try and stop the hit.
It turns out to cost Chance so much more then he is ready to pay but in the blood and carnage,can a man like Chance get that “second chance” and find redemption?
When The Jazzman gets the call to “clean up the mess”,what steps will he take to do just that? It’s going to be a long three days and plenty of time to break “The Fifth Commandment”.
Did the movie live up to Romey’s recommendation? We are glad to say it did for the most part. What really helps The Fifth Commandment is its great cast. Rick Yune,who wrote,produced and stars in this movie,assembled a fine group of talent in the always reliable Bokeem Woodbine and Keith David. Both men really juice up this movie and help elevate the writing of Yune,who admits during the special features,why he had to be the one who write the script. Dania Ramirez as Angel also did a nice job,her Angel isn’t a bad or a spoiled diva,she is just scared and wants to go home.
This is a action film and as a general rule,great action scenes can overcome a poor script….except this time,its reversed! We like Yune’s script and his scenes with Chance and Miles were VERY good. Sure the script wasn’t perfect but for a first-timer,I have seen a lot worse.
The action scenes is where The Fifth Commandment stumbles,a scene where a Thai police invaded like The Terminator just doesn’t work. When Chance is surrounded by four men who easily could shoot him down but don’t….you will be shaking your head at that. But when a big bad guy comes with 20 guys and packing enough firepower to give Rambo a run for his money,one doesn’t see a lone guy with a handgun engaging in a firefight out in the open!! That had the cheetah flopping back and forth on his side cracking up…..but director Jesse Johnson did a fine job otherwise. The pace of the film was quick and precise with no wasted space. The fact there are three editors listed should tell you where the biggest mistakes were made,this was a badly edited movie and Yune and Johnson deserved a lot better then what they paid for.
The Fifth Commandment is rated “R” and has a run time of 91 minutes.
There are two Special Features,one on the stunt work and a EXCELLENT feature with Rick Yune on the making of The Fifth Commandment. The 15 minute feature should be mandatory viewing for any first time indie film maker on what to expect in making a low budget film.
The cheetah and I both liked “The Fifth Commandment” and we recommend it by giving it a thumbs/paws up.
You can find this film for sale on Amazon by clicking here.